child custody fee

Custody cases are more than heading into court. Many times, these issues can put a substantial financial burden on both parents. For those quickly settled matters, you may incur only a few minor expenses. However, if the hearings are drawn out, it could strain everyone’s finances. Here is what you can expect regarding the cost to file for custody in Ohio. 

Initial Custody Costs

If you are seeking custody in the state, it can be a sensitive issue. Not only do you have to put the child’s best interest forward, but you also have to think about the potential legal expenses. Before you even enter a courtroom, there are initial costs. 

You cannot start a case without filing the proper paperwork with the court. Unfortunately, these filings come at a cost, usually around $110 to $200. The prices can vary depending on your jurisdiction. Keep in mind that if you had help from an attorney, you would need to add these fees to the total costs. 

What happens if you cannot afford the fees? In some instances, you may be able to apply for a waiver. Eligible individuals can request an exemption from the courts. Ohio courts know that legal fees can be costly. For that reason, these waivers make sure financial constraints do not become a barrier to seeking custody.

Beyond Filing Fees

Legal counsel is also expensive. While some parents might choose to represent themselves in court without legal representation, others might think it is better to hire help. A skilled and knowledgeable lawyer can help in these custody cases. These costs will differ depending on a number of variables, such as:

  • Case complexity
  • Experience and reputation of the attorney 
  • Court jurisdiction

Family law attorneys, or child custody lawyers, bill between $225 and $325 per hour. Some attorneys even charge $350 to $400 per hour. You could see expenses in the $3,000 to $10,000 range at the end of the case. Also, these costs can rise from $1,500 to $6,000 in the event that a custody evaluation is necessary. 

Some attorneys will require you to make a deposit (retainer) to secure their services. On the other hand, a few law firms will establish a payment plan for the expenses. While these costs may seem high, consider them an investment in your child’s life. Your attorney will fight for you and your child’s best interests. 

Learn More About the Cost to File for Custody in Ohio

When it comes to filing for custody in Ohio, there’s more to it than just filling out paperwork and showing up in court. These expenses can be a huge factor. You need to be financially prepared to cover the costs. Whether you’re relying on a fee waiver or figuring out how to pay for legal representation, make sure that money doesn’t become a barrier to justice.
If you want to know what other costs can be expected with a custody case in Ohio, reach out to the legal team at Axelrod Law Office in Lake County, OH. Call our office at (440) 271-8126 or submit a contact form to schedule a free, confidential legal consultation.